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Curated research library of TV news clips regarding the NSA, its oversight and privacy issues, 2009-2014

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Primary curation & research: Robin Chin, Internet Archive TV News Researcher; using TV News Archive service.

Speakers

Andrea Mitchell
NBC Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent and Host of Andrea Mitchell Reports
MSNBCW 07/31/2014
Mitchell: So the Inspector General has, and we were reporting on this ourselves, I guess, about two months ago. The Inspector General has done his or her review and has found that the CIA was spying on the Senate Intelligence Committee. Basically busting into their computers. As Dianne Feinstein had claimed. and at the time people in the White House and the CIA were denying. This is dicey because John Brennan , the CIA Director, former NSC Deputy for Terrorism working very closely with the President. Very popular. Very close to the President. And the White House initially was siding with him and going up against the Senate on this.
Glenn Greenwald
Co-Founder The Intercept
MSNBCW 07/31/2014
Greenwald: Remember when the Russians granted him asylum a year ago they cited two different grounds. One was that there's no legal basis to turn him over to the U.S. because the U.S. and the Russians don't have any extradition treaty which is a ground the U.S. has cited numerous times when refusing to turn over accused criminals to the Russians who were on U.S. soil. And secondly that he faced persecution. That he'd be put into a cage for the next several decades by virtue of his whistleblowing activities which are heralded around the world. Neither of those two grounds has changed in any way. The Russians have indicated very strongly publicly and in other ways that they intend to extend his asylum and so I think the chances that Mr. Snowden will end up in U.S. custody and anything resembling the near future is very, very low. Basically nonexistent.
Glenn Greenwald
Co-Founder The Intercept
MSNBCW 07/31/2014
Greenwald: He definitely faces persecution. If you look at what even leading journalists have said over and over over the last five years it's the climate in the United States under the Obama administration is unprecedentedly hostile to the news gathering process. Sources are prosecuted more vindictively and aggressively under the Espionage Act than at any time in American history. The problem, Ronan, is that if he were to come back and face trial he would be barred from raising the defense he wants to raise which is that he was justified in revealing this information. His conviction would be essentially guaranteed. It's not really a fair trial.
Glenn Greenwald
Co-Founder The Intercept
MSNBCW 07/31/2014
Greenwald: Unfortunately, the Obama administration has dredged up this 1917 statute called the Espionage Act which was enacted under Woodrow Wilson as a means to criminalize those who were against the U.S. involvement in World War I. And it's an incredibly broad statute that allows the U.S. government to punish virtually anybody who takes action or discloses information that the United States government doesn't want disclosed. And in the post 9/11 era federal courts have continuously said that the defense that most whistleblowers want to raise which is, yes, I disclosed this information but doing so is justified because it revealed serious wrongdoing on the part of the U.S. government that should never have been kept secret in the first place, is not a defense. They are literally not allowed to utter that defense. And I think reform of that law to make it a law that reflects our current values and that gives whistleblowers a fighting chance in court is a crucial first step.
Glenn Greenwald
Co-Founder The Intercept
MSNBCW 07/31/2014
Greenwald: Just think about the -- what this means. These are the people in Congress who are supposed to exercise oversight over the CIA, the people who appropriate their budgets and who are supposed to ensure that they are abiding by the law. And the CIA just cavalierly invaded the privacy of their communications illegally and then the director of the CIA, John Brennan misled the public and lied and denied that it ever happened only for it to turn out that it did. Think about what that says about what the U.S. intelligence community is willing to do with their surveillance capabilities, how cavalier they are about breaking the law. If they are even willing to invade the communication of the Senate which is investigating them. This is not just some sort of aberration. This is why secret surveillance is so dangerous because inevitably it gets abused in the most extreme ways possible.
Glenn Greenwald
Co-Founder The Intercept
MSNBCW 07/31/2014
Greenwald: (I think all countries that have) said that they have benefited greatly as a result of his revelations which certainly includes Germany but it also includes France and Spain and Brazil which is where I currently am and where I live, have the not just moral obligation but the legal obligation to protect his rights, even if it means risking some tension with the United States, exactly the way that he risked his own material self-interest in defense of their rights. And I do think it's appalling to watch these governments who have benefited so much from his revelations who are now able to protect the privacy not just of their leading government officials but of their populations as a result of what he did turn their back on him and not protect his rights, which is why Russia is the place that he continues to be. So I do think there's some real debate in places like Germany, Brazil and other places about the prospect that he could be granted asylum. I'm not so sure it won’t happen. But I think the fact it hasn't after a year is sort of shameful.
Glenn Greenwald
Co-Founder The Intercept
MSNBCW 07/31/2014
Greenwald: The United States relies an its ability to go around the world claiming it stands for democracy and condemning tyranny. We love to talk about Vladimir Putin and all his oppressive measures. And yet here's probably if not the most brutally oppressive, one of the most brutally repressive regimes in the world, Saudi Arabia, and the NSA in 2013 established a cooperative relationship with their most extremely oppressive agency, the Ministry of Interior, where we provide training and technology to teach them how to better surveil their citizens. Why should that possibly be something we as Americans are comfortable with, having our government aid this brutally repressive ministry within this horribly repressive regime. I hope shining a light on it causes a debate about whether that's what we want to do and whether the U.S. government rhetoric about believing in democracy and spreading freedom and all of that has any authenticity at all.
Edward Snowden
Whistleblower
MSNBCW 07/31/2014
Snowden: If we can't understand the policies and programs of our government, we cannot grant our consent in writing. As someone very clever said recently, we don't have an oversight problem, we have an undersight problem.
John Brennan
Director of the CIA
MSNBCW 07/31/2014
Wagner: According to McClatchy, an internal agency review finds that CIA employees did, in fact, improperly access computers used by the committee while its staff was researching a report on the CIA's highly controversial detention and interrogation program. So those claims by Senator Feinstein, the ones John Brennan called “ the scope of reason,” it turns out they were dead on. So dead on that Brennan himself actually apologized yesterday to Feinstein and the committee's Vice Chair, Saxby Chambliss. Hours ago, Senator Ron Wyden, a member of the Senate intelligence committee tweeted, “the CIA broke into senate computer files and tried to have senate staff prosecuted. Absolutely unacceptable in a democracy.
Alex Wagner
Anchor of NOW with Alex Wagner
MSNBCW 07/31/2014
Wagner: According to the A.P. which yesterday obtained new information on the still-classified report, courtesy of an accidental email sent out by the White House, the report concludes that the agency kept Secretary of State Colin Powell, as well as some U.S. ambassadors in the dark about the harsh techniques and secret prisons, and that some of the ambassadors informed about interrogations of al Qaeda detainees at black sites were instructed not to tell their superiors at the state department. The A.P. also reveals that while the report does not draw the legal conclusion that the CIA's actions constituted torture, it makes clear that in some cases those actions amount to torture by a common definition. The timing of the declassification will be up to senator Dianne Feinstein.
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